“Gentle beating of the wife cannot be termed as a violence”, Pakistan’s top constitutional body on Islamic matters have said.
“Do not try to relate our proposal (on beating women) with violence. Light beating does not mean violence,” Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani , chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) said at a news conference in Islamabad.
“The issue has been blown out of proportion. Everyone condemns violence. People need to be educated to stay away from violence,” the Maulana was quoted as saying by Express Tribune.
The clarification came after the CII’s proposals on “model” women protection Bill sparked outrage across Pakistan.
“A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods,” the CII’s draft proposals cited by news outlets said.
The “model Bill” proposed by the constitutional body which claims to empower women, however prohibits them from interacting with men at work places and recreational spots. It also limits them from receiving foreign officials and state guests. It also prohibits a woman from adopting contraception without her husband’s consent. The Bill also proposes to “ban music, dance and sculptures created in the name of art,” the Karachi headquartered Express Tribune said.
The CII had earlier rejected legislations passed by the Assemblies of eastern Punjab and north-western Khyber Pakthunkhwa provinces. The council had termed these Bills as “unIslamic and framed the “model Bill” with some 163 clauses.
Education and Work
Courtesy: The Dawn
The proposals have been has now been slammed by the civil society and politicians.
“Through their proposed recommendations they have reflected their mindset,” Raheela Khadim, chairperson of the Punjab Assembly’s standing committee on gender said.
Khadim also called for a review of the legal space in which the CII operated.
“We are talking about holding wife beaters accountable and they are proposing something in complete contrast” she said.
The mandate of the CII is to Islamise Pakistan’s laws and advice the parliament and the government on Islamic matters.
Civil society activists had earlier pressed the council to amend the country’s notorius blasphemy laws and punish those who invoke the law to settle personal scores. The strict law has been misused often to intimidate religious minorities, liberal politicians, media persons and social activists.
The CII had also ruled against DNA tests in determining rape. The members have rooted for the continuation of the present Shariah law, which requires four adults to testify that the victim has been raped.
CII’s retrograde proposals and the foot in the mouth clarifications which followed have enraged Pakistanis. Most took to social media to vent their ire.
The Dawn, while stating that “wife beating” was bad, whether gentle or hard, has stringed together a few things that Pakistanis could beat, if at all there is an urge.
Graphics Courtesy : dawn.com